The hours between 8 and 11 are rich with possibility. I think, "I will finish this laundry. I will do another hour or two of writing. I will take a lovely, hot bath using these lavender bath salts somebody gave me."

Instead I sit. It is very quiet in the house. I can hear the ice machine in the freezer rumbling as it tries to turn on. I watch the minutes tick past on the kitchen clock. They seem to be ticking away very fast. I think, "I should get up now." And eventually, I tip-toe into darkened bedrooms to check on the kids. They both sleep with arms stretched up above their heads, which are tilted at the same angle. Laurel's breath is barely audible and she has a half smile on her face. Mark Oliver has the raspy breath of a newborn, and he smacks his lips and grunts in his sleep.

Half the time I say screw it and climb into bed anyway, waiting for the inevitable moment when one or both of them will need something from me. Tonight, I decide to take a shower and do some work.

Mark Oliver is exactly 6 weeks old today. That's not such a very long time, but it feels like evenings have been this way forever. Two hours of exhausting dinner/clean up/bath/stories and then sudden quiet.

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